Most of the cars we test on this magazine are half decent nowadays, to a point where the all-out lemon has, somewhat sadly, pretty much disappeared.
Genuinely dreadful machines such as the Lada Samara and FSO Polonez once provided us car journos with a rare and strangely enjoyable opportunity to put the knife in and then twist it, after all; but today there is no such thing.
The vast majority of the current cars we drive and write about are, by those kinds of standards, unrecogniseably excellent overall.
By the same token, however, the true-blue game changer is an equally rare beast in 2013. We see maybe one, perhaps two such cars a year sometimes – yet despite the fact that we’re only half way through this year I’ve already driven two 100 per cent rule benders, and both of them are made by Porsche.
The first was the new Cayman, the second is the latest 991-based GT3, and of the two I think it’s the GT3 that has blown me away the most. And what’s most incredible of all about the new PDK-only, 469bhp, four-wheel-steer, 7min 25sec-around-the-Nürburgring GT3 is… its ride quality. Which, considering how fundamentally stiff the car is and how vast its tyres are, is nothing short of a miracle, all things considered.
The result is a GT3 that has massively more range in its ability as a road car compared with the previous model. Up until now, GT3s have been pretty extreme to be honest, so focused in their engineering – and suspension stiffness – as to make them usable only on certain occasions, and in certain weathers, by certain people, and on fairly specific types of roads.
But this latest car is quite incredibly civilised, and comfortable, and refined compared with what’s gone before – yet at the other end of the extreme, when the horns sprout out from the sides of your head and you want to take a peek over the edge into oblivion, it feels even more focused, even more dialed into the road and IS even faster than before.
I tell you, I’m not sure what it is they’re putting in the water supply at Porsche nowadays, but it is surely some special kind of brew.
Oh yes, and the new dual clutch gearbox is phenomenally good at changing gear, too, even if it does seem a touch odd that Porsche has chosen not to offer the car even with the choice of a manual transmission. I guess they reckon that seeing is believing in this case, ie the first time you try it, you’ll love it. I know I did for one…